Sunday, July 26, 2009

Rick Kogan Hosts Newberry Freedom Fest in Bughouse Square

Abraham Lincoln mopped the street with Judge Stephen Douglas. Two great actors, in 19th Century dress, reenacted the The Fifth Debate(Galesburg) of the Great Lincoln Douglas Debates.

The McCormick Foundation ran a Freedom of Speech Booth.

Amnesty International offered literature to Chicagoans, about political abuse of prisoners.

Illinois Atheist Pontifex Maximus, Rob Sherman walked around with a giant plastic Dill Pickle and proved that his arms are too short to box with God. The Dude is passionate and intense - really intense. God love him! Mr. Sherman had an Atheist tour bus that would have been the envy of Madonna . . . or the Madonna!

Check it out on Rob Sherman's site - It was parked on La Salle across from the Library - Ten-4, Rollers! Atheistical Mystery Tour is East Bound and Down!

Chicago writer, WGN radio host, golfer and Patriot, Rick Kogan directed the public speaking events made moving eulogies form Bughouse Square heroes the late Alderman Leon Depres and Studs Terkel. The always classy Rick Kogan asked for a moment of silence and Rob Sherman loudly objected to amusement of all.

Hey, Speak on it Brother! This was celebration of America at its Best in place that is a temple of Free Speech.

The Newberry Library hosted the 25th Annual Book Fair and it was a great success. The staff of the Newberry took care of browsers and buyers with speed and efficiency.

All around the park, preregistered speakers took to the soapboxes and gave out like Americans! Rick Kogan and I chatted about the power of the two actors who portrayed Lincoln and Douglas( with Michael Krebs taking the part of Lincoln, and Larry Diemer that of Douglas), as well as the intrinsic power of the words of Galesburg Debates themselves.

Douglas was a Democratic Party line, save the union orator with unhappy task of defending slavery.

Lincoln was the sharp, homey Illinois Central lawyer who bobs and weaves with the geography of Illinois. Douglas complained about Lincoln's feckless abuse of the Truth over the issue of slavery - saying one thing in Charleston and another in Freeport. Lincoln cleaned his clock with this!

When the Judge says, in speaking on this subject, that I make speeches of one sort for the people of the northern end of the State, and of a different sort for the southern people, he assumes that I do not understand that my speeches will be put in print and read North and South. I knew all the while that the speech that I made at Chicago, and the one I made at Jonesboro and the one at Charleston, would all be put in print, and all the reading and intelligent men in the community would see them and know all about my opinions. And I have not supposed, and do not now suppose, that there is any conflict whatever between them. But the Judge will have it that if we do not confess that there is a sort of inequality between the white and black races, which justifies us in making them slaves, we must then insist that there is a degree of equality that requires us to make them our wives. Now, I have all the while taken a broad distinction in regard to that matter; and that is all there is in these different speeches which he arrays here; and the entire reading of either of the speeches will show that that distinction was made. Perhaps by taking two parts of the same speech he could have got up as much of a conflict as the one he has found. I have all the while maintained that in so far as it should be insisted that there was an equality between the white and black races that should produce a perfect social and political equality, it was an impossibility. This you have seen in my printed speeches, and with it I have said, that in their right to “life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness,” as proclaimed in that old Declaration, the inferior races are our equals. And these declarations I have constantly made in reference to the abstract moral question, to contemplate and consider when we are legislating about any new country which is not already cursed with the actual presence of the evil,—slavery. I have never manifested any impatience with the necessities that spring from the actual presence of black people amongst us, and the actual existence of slavery amongst us where it does already exist; but I have insisted that, in legislating for new countries where it does not exist, there is no just rule other than that of moral and abstract right! With reference to those new countries, those maxims as to the right of a people to “life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness,” were the just rules to be constantly referred to. There is no misunderstanding this, except by men interested to misunderstand it. I take it that I have to address an intelligent and reading community, who will peruse what I say, weigh it, and then judge whether I advance improper or unsound views, or whether I advance hypocritical and deceptive, and contrary views in different portions of the country.

Thanks Rick Kogan and thank you to the folks at Newberry Library!

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